Lighting Guide | Outdoor
The garden and broader outdoor areas serve three primary functions once darkness sets in:
- Facilitating movement in and out of one's home, welcoming guests, etc.
- Enhancing the view of the landscape from within the residence.
- Creating an inviting ambiance for evening gatherings on the patio or terrace.
Lighting plays a dual role here – it provides both functionality and ambiance, which can vary with the changing seasons.
Environmental considerations are paramount when lighting outdoor spaces. Avoid upward-directed lights, prolonged illumination of trees, or overly cold hues. These can contribute to light pollution, disrupt photosynthesis, and impact local wildlife.
To address these concerns, it's prudent to install a lighting management system. This allows for varying lighting moods and reduces unnecessary illumination duration. From a technical standpoint, all outdoor light fixtures should adhere to appropriate protection standards for external use 💡, paired with a waterproof electrical installation.
Striking a harmony between poetic ambiance and functionality, a few subtle touches can transform your outdoor spaces.
Navigating your way home in the evening, locating your keychain, or preparing a meal under gentle illumination are scenarios where lighting should make the space welcoming, clear, and comfortable. However, it's worth noting that one doesn't need excessive lighting; our eyes can adjust to the darkness!
To light up a driveway or a pathway, consider options like wall sconces, low bollards, or lamp posts, especially if they're positioned further from building facades. Sometimes, illuminating a wall can be more effective than flooding the entire ground with light. A subtle wall light near the entrance or a special illumination for the patio can create a welcoming effect.
For a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, uniform lighting on the terrace using wall-mounted lights or overhead fixtures (for pergolas or awnings) can be comforting and add to the ambiance on summer evenings. It's best to use warm color temperatures (2700K or 3000K) and implement motion detectors where they make sense.
To enhance the beauty of your exterior spaces, consider layering ambient and accent lighting that highlights specific architectural or landscape features. When illuminated, these elements offer a nighttime "canvas" that contrasts with their daytime appearance, allowing for a touch of whimsical charm.
Illuminating plants and vegetation can introduce fascinating perspectives at night. Such lighting not only prevents creating "black holes" that might feel unnerving but also brings out intriguing shadow play. Be selective about the elements you choose to spotlight, and consider lighting them only when necessary. Warm tones might emphasize autumn hues, whereas cooler tones can highlight spring and summer colors.
Simple outdoor spotlights, LED strips, or in-ground fixtures can be enough to illuminate shrubs, sculptures, or stone walls. For festive moments on the patio or terrace, think about a unique light setting that exudes warmth and intimacy. Perhaps even a splash of color. Temporary fixtures like string lights with a vintage vibe, illuminated objects like large luminous orbs or light-up plant pots, or portable lamps that can be placed on the ground or tabletop might be just the thing. Some of these even come with built-in speakers. Lastly, the sight of an illuminated body of water – be it a pond or a pool – especially with floating luminous objects, can be a real showstopper!
Copyright LampTwist | Guide to residential lighting - Written and illustrated by Aurore Renard - www.aurore.studio